Gingersnaps are a favorite holiday cookie. Their spicy sweetness just seems perfect for the Christmas season, when the weather outside is brisk and a little spice always has a way of warming things up. These Gingersnaps with Crystallized Ginger are a classic gingersnap cookie, made with plenty of molasses and spice. I added some chopped, crystallized ginger to give their ginger flavor a little more oomph!
These cookies also have a great texture to them. They’re chewy at the center and crisp around the edges, without being hard or heavy, like some molasses-based cookies. They loose a little of their crispness after the first day, as the molasses draws extra moisture into the cookies (which actually helps them stay fresh longer!), but they stay nice and chewy. Also, as they sit for a day or two, the spices blend together and the cookies end up tasting even better.
This dough can be made in a slice-and-bake format if you prefer, but I like doing these as drop cookies because they have a prettier final appearance and, though the sliced ones remained a bit crunchier even days later, I really like the chewiness of the hand-formed cookies. Refrigerating the dough in its bowl for about 30 minutes gives it a chance to rest and evenly distribute the moisture, making it easier to form into balls.
Gingersnaps with Crystallized Ginger
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus more for coating
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper.
In another large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and well combined Mixture will be grainy. Beat in the eggs eggs in one by one, followed by molasses, balsamic vinegar and vanilla.
Working by hand or with a mixer on low speed, gradually stir the flour mixture. When just about all of the flour has been incorporated, add in the chopped ginger and stir until no streaks of flour remain and ginger is well-distributed. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
Form dough into 1 inch balls, roll in extra sugar and place on baking sheet. Press cookies to flatten slightly.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 5 dozen.